Celtics Likely To Withdraw Offer To Stiemsma

July 20 2012 at 9:57pm CDT By Chuck Myron

9:57pm: Forsberg says the team making the offer is not the Timberwolves, though he doesn't identify which team it is.

9:17pm: The Celtics have been outbid for Greg Stiemsma and are likely to withdraw their qualifying offer for the 6'11" big man, making him an unrestricted free agent, tweets Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune. Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com hears that a team has made an offer to Stiemsma that exceeds the $1.054MM qualifying offer from the Celtics, and Zgoda hears the same via Stiemsma's agent (Twitter links). 

I'd guess the team making the offer to Stiemsma is the Timberwolves, since a report earlier this week from A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com indicated Minnesota was prepared to offer him an annual salary of nearly $3MM. That would be about $1MM more than the Celtics could offer with their biannual exception. Boston, which has only had Stiemsma under contract for a year, has non-Bird rights on Stiemsma, allowing for a 120% raise or the amount of his qualifying offer, whichever is greater — and in Stiemsma's case, the qualifying offer is greater. The biannual exception amount of $1.957MM would be the most the Celtics could pay him, but it appears that still won't be enough to bring Stiemsma back.

Stiemsma and agent Mike Naiditch have expressed a willingness to be patient while the Wolves work on other priorities, but with Nicolas Batum, Courtney Lee and Jordan Hill eluding the team's grasp, it appears Stiemsma is finally the priority atop Wolves GM David Kahn's desk. Stiemsma was a revelation for the Celtics last season after spending most of his career overseas and in the D-League after going undrafted out of the University of Wisconsin in 2008. The 13.9 minutes per game he saw in 55 contests for the Celtics were more than he averaged in any of his four collegiate seasons, He put up 2.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks a night in the regular season before an aching left foot limited his playing time and effectiveness in the playoffs.

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